Struggling with Quantum Mech - the Measurement Problem

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Struggling with Quantum Mech - the Measurement Problem

Unread postby Open Mind » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:36 am

I'm not looking for this forum post to lead to my complete and full comprehension of the concept. But I just want to get past my problem with the popular vehicle of explanation which is the double slit experiment.' I hit a wall of unanswered questions at a certain point in that experiment and countless attempts to get those questions answered through youtubes claiming to clarify the concept just wind up begging the questions. So I'm appealing to anyone out there who can get me past this dead end.

Questions:

1) Is the double slit experiment an actual experiment that one can conduct, shooting individual electrons through the double slit surface, or is it just theoretical?
2) If so, is there an actual surface or medium after the double slit surface that will actually show the different dispersion's of particles in either the wave interference pattern, or the particle scatter lines of the two slits?
3) Is the device that measures what occurs at the double slit, the same device necessary to see the results of the experiment, or is there either an actual physical result on the second surface visible to the eye, or a second independent measuring device that is used to see what happens on that second surface?

Magically, if the measurement device is on it sees where this particle goes through and the result is that it acts like a particle hitting the final surface in a double slit pattern. But if the measurement device is turned off, it goes back to a wave induced interference pattern.

Its here where I wind up having questions, and to me they are all no brainers, and the fact that no one ever addresses those questions is to me an almost lazy gloss over of what is obviously a necessary part of a reasonable explanation, (pardon the frustrated tone).

So here are a sample of some of the many questions I immediately need to understand and if anyone can answer them, or better yet, address the clear misunderstanding I have that is prompting me to ask these questions, even better.

So turn on the observation measurement device and goes particle.
Turn off the observation measurement device and it goes wave.
Measurement Device = MD

1) What if the MD is on, but you ignore it and pretend it is off
2) What if someone randomly turns it on or off and doesn't tell you for a string of this same experiment
3) What if you are told a red light comes on when the MD is on, but someone secretly reverses that
4) Is the MD itself interacting independently from your actual conscious observation
5) If the MD is off but you stand there and squint and convince yourself you are observing, what happens
6) What if the MD is inconsistent in its function but you are unaware of that
7) What if the MD is programmed to function correctly 99.999999999% of the time, but in the one instance that it doesn't work, it will still indicate that it was functioning, will it affect the results

I could go on and on. It just seems to me that in the face of the initial confounding results, I would face them with disbelief that it was going to wind up becoming something that I absolutely had to accept as a function of my observation, and I would begin to completely dismantle the process in the pursuit of finding the very razor fine edge between what is the absolute bare minimum of observation and what is just a hair past what does not count as observation. In that, I suspect it might begin to flesh out what in fact this 'observation' is really reliant on. But I can't seem to find anyone who has that same curiosity.

Anyone??
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Re: Struggling with Quantum Mech - the Measurement Problem

Unread postby MotionTheory » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:33 am

There is no right solution to a wrong problem!

Right problem/question to ask - why energy object (photon, electron, buckyball,..) go through a slit/opening inherited partial wave behavior?

This problem consists of 2 main variables: an opening and EO (energy object). Additional introduced variables and mumbo jumbo concepts are only applicable when IF AND ONLY IF provide a right solution/answer to problem/question above.

QM is a non-physics hypothesis. It is useful but magical in concepts.
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Re: Struggling with Quantum Mech - the Measurement Problem

Unread postby Open Mind » Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:33 pm

Woooooooo, thank you for your perspective. I hear you..

I AM interested in the EU version or 'correction' to be sure. But I first want to be able to understand the incorrect Standard Model version in a way that isn't cryptic and inflatedly convoluted.
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Re: Struggling with Quantum Mech - the Measurement Problem

Unread postby Open Mind » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:43 am

Ok. So reading about delayed choice quantum eraser sort of attempts to answer my questions, but most explanations are still wildly complex for some reason.

However, I have one person going on record to make this statement:

"It is not the presence of the conscious observer that collapses the wavefunction, it’s the action they perform on the system that causes the wavefunction collapse. It is also vital to note that these are the results that are obtained whether researchers are present as the experiment is conducted or they have retreated to the Dog and Duck for a pint."

Its a start. Leads to several follow up questions but at least we're getting there.
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Re: Struggling with Quantum Mech - the Measurement Problem

Unread postby Open Mind » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:08 am

they go on to illustrate this by this analogy:

"Imagine me asking you to determine the location of tennis balls I’m firing into a darkened room. The only instrument I’m going to give you to do this is a tennis racket. There’s no way of you doing this without fundamentally changing the state of the ball. You may be able to give me the position and velocity of the ball at impact, but you would find it impossible to give me information about the ball after impact. The act of measurement has destroyed the information you had, there is no way you can violently examine that system without changing it fundamentally."

This illustrates the belief that using a photon to create an opportunity to 'observe' the electron, effects it like a tennis racket and a ball. The proposal is that while a photon has no mass, it does have momentum, which in some magical way affects the movement of the electron.

So if I accept this dichotomy of the photon having no mass but affecting motion of a particle when it comes into contact, this explanation effectively reduces the term 'observe' to mean simply 'physically influence'.

At this point, if I'm to accept this explanation, (from the below website):

https://medium.com/predict/the-double-s ... 8384a50e2f

then the mystery of human consciousness having a magical influence on this experiment has been solved, and the remaining question becomes how an electron can still be demonstrated to have wave or particle properties, depending on whether it has been influenced by a photon.

Am I on the right path? There's gotta be 100 propellor hats out there overflowing with opinion on this. Someone?
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Re: Struggling with Quantum Mech - the Measurement Problem

Unread postby Sci-Phy » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:34 am

Hi Open Mind,
Double slit experiment could not be done with electrons.
Inter-atomic spaces are slits for electron, according to modern science data.
So, all such experiments are speculation.

Cheers.
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Re: Struggling with Quantum Mech - the Measurement Problem

Unread postby paladin17 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:51 pm

1) Yes. And it has been done.
2) Yes.
3) After passing the screen with slits the electrons interact with the detector (imagine a camera with many pixels, so we can detect which pixel was "hit" by a small electric current that the electron would produce in it) and thus the site of their final position can be "seen".
Whether that should be considered a different device or part of the same device is, I guess, just a philological question.

What you're asking about afterwards, to my knowledge, has never been done.
You can "measure" electron (and "turn it into a particle") e.g. by observing it's interaction with some other particles - photons or other electrons etc. But due to some fundamental problems (all of which are connected to the fact that an electron is incredibly small and light) that would alter the experiment too much.
So this part of the experiment - "observing the electron to see which slit it passes through" - is a purely theoretical construct, which is intended to make fundamentals of quantum mechanics explicit.

Yet, some of your questions might be answered regardless. For example, consciousness plays no role in quantum mechanics, so just throw it out of your consideration. (Granted, there were/are influential people - like Pauli or Wigner - who'd disagree with that, but that's another topic, not immediately related to the double-slit experiment per se). Roughly speaking, your awareness (or lack thereof) regarding the setup doesn't change anything in the setup itself, nor in the result it does produce.
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Re: Struggling with Quantum Mech - the Measurement Problem

Unread postby Open Mind » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:20 pm

Thank you Paladin17. That was clear.

So the entire thing about 'consciousnesses' is really just semantics, using the term "Observe" with the intention to limit to a very specific interpretation that clearly wouldn't translate well to the general public.

Kind of like saying "Your epidermis is showing".

I think I understand that part now. Thank you.

But an electron can still behave 'wave like' as well as like a particle. Its just that it can be affected by something to change it from one to the other. So while its behavior as a particle is intuitively easy to understand as a mechanical event, and the action of affecting it by introducing another photon, or particle is a straight forward mechanical act, the fundamental curiosity is ONLY that it can appear to behave 'wave like' in some unaffected circumstances.

At this point, it seems like something we can't possibly conclude anything about because we don't have anything else to compare it to in the mainstream understanding of everything in the known universe.

I have heard some scientists say that "no one really understands quantum mechanics", and many answers to that fundamental question focus on the "Probability Wave", which seems to me to be answering a question with anther question.

Am I close here?
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Re: Struggling with Quantum Mech - the Measurement Problem

Unread postby paladin17 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:47 pm

In general that's what I meant, yes.
However, it's not quite as simple as that. As I've said, some people think that consciousness plays some role.
(It is the whole "interpretations of quantum mechanics" topic). But again, there are interpretations that do not involve it at all, and they "work" just as well.
Overall, some months ago I did a skype presentation (here's a recording) covering some quantum mechanics basics. Maybe watching it would help.
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Re: Struggling with Quantum Mech - the Measurement Problem

Unread postby crawler » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:01 pm

I think one should start with a photon being diffracted at an edge. I think this involves a bending into the shadow of say up to 1mm max at say 20,000 mm. The mechanics of such diffraction might be related to why Heaviside's slab of E by H energy current follows a good conductor. In which case the material of the edge might be a factor. I think that most edges & slits are metallic, usually gold. Does anyone know of say plastic being used?
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